November 30, 2012

Silicon Valley has had this coming for a while. But now, its crown as the undisputed global tech hub is definitely under attack.

More countries are actively trying to lure tech companies to set up headquarters in their tech centers, or foster local talent through start-ups, according to CNBC .

As a result, a number of cities around the world that were formally quiet on the tech front are now making a stand.

Below are some of the most surprising.

Better known for watches, chocolate, pen-knifes and banking, Switzerland, is one of the latest countries to give rise to a global tech hub. The fact that is has one of the highest Internet and broadband penetration rates in Europe can’t hurt, CNBC notes.

Zurich now counts more than 60 technology parks and several venture funds. Swiss Start-up Monitor records 388 current startups in Zurich. The city is also luring some U.S. tech giants, such as Yahoo! and Google.

Nordic countries are also emerging as tech front-runners. In particular, Stockholm, Sweden is now home to streaming music giant Spotify, Qliktech, the business analytics company, and Mojang, the creator behind the game hit Minecraft. Last year, U.S. venture capital firms invested nearly $200 million in Swedish tech companies, mostly in Stockholm.

Copenhagen, Denmark is another new tech hub. For instance, the city is home to Founder's House, an invitation-only incubator where founders get a startup-friendly environment where they can mingle with other entrepreneurs and learn from each other’s skills.

Another lesser-known Nordic city also fast becoming a tech hub is Oulu in Finland.

CNBC reports that the area surrounding the city counts two science parks, a number of research institutes. Meanwhile, the city is considered a "living lab,” since residents often experiment with new technology on a broad scale.